Sassafras is native to Asia and Eastern North America. Sassafras trees have unusually orange or yellow barks and grow up to 100 feet high making them relatively easy to identify.
Traditionally, almost every part of the sassafras plant has been used for either cultural, culinary, or therapeutic purposes.
Parts of the plant are used in foods such as salads, root beer, and sassafras root tea. Furthermore, parts of sassafras can be topically applied or consumed orally for medicinal purposes.
It’s worth noting that concentrated sassafras oil is very potent and should be used with caution and under the supervision of a doctor.
Below are various health benefits of sassafras;
1. Prevents Cancer
Sassafras, in ongoing anti-cancer research, has demonstrated an ability to act as an antioxidant to eliminate harmful free radicals and boost the immune system. Safrole is a notable compound in sassafras which has been found to inhibit certain types of cancer including prostate cancer, liver cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, oral cancer, and breast cancer. Another compound, camphor, potentially stops colon cancer from spreading. Sassafras acts to lower running the risk of cell mutation and related cancer effects.
2. Treats Cold And Flu
Sassafras oil, which is found in sassafras tree’s roots, has certain decongestant properties. This enables sassafras oil to treat certain symptoms of cold and flu such as by clearing the nasal congestion caused due to cold. This is further accentuated by the spicy as well as aromatic flavors present which induces sweating in the body. This is an effective biological mechanism to dissipate heat from the body in order to treat certain symptoms of the flu.
3. Treats Skin Ailments
Sassafras also contains tannic acid and a compound unique to it called sassafrid. These compounds provide benefits that includes protecting the skin. Taken as a tea, sassafras has certain antibacterial, astringent as well as anti-fungal properties. This makes it an ideal solution to heal numerous skin problems such as insect bites, eczema, and skin irritation. The simple remedy of applying some sassafras leaves to areas affected by ailments such as boils, rashes or sores helps to tackle inflammation as well as discoloration of the skin.
4. Dental Care
Traditionally, sassafras twigs were used as primitive toothbrushes owing partly due to their pleasantly unique flavor which can be likened to that of root beer. More than tasting good, sassafras twigs also have natural antiseptic properties and act as a disinfectant in order to maintain dental hygiene. The combination of these factors may convince you to give gums a shot with sassafras chewing sticks.
5. Improves Blood Circulation
Besides combating colon cancer, camphor, which is found in sassafras, also has the ability to improve blood circulation. This was indicated by a study conducted by researchers at Asahikawa Medical University.
6. Fights Rheumatism And Arthritis
These illnesses, like most others, are caused due to the presence or production or certain toxins in the body. A characteristic of arthritis, for example, would be the inflammation of joints. Sassafras tea is able to act as a cleanser, removing such toxins from the body and serving to effectively manage arthritis.
7. Relieves Pain
Sassafras is a popular analgesic or painkiller, which provides relief from pain. Sassafras tea can be consumed to this end, and is a known application in several communities practicing or propagating natural healing. Sassafras leaves can also be wrapped around wounds, directly, to deal with inflammation as well as pain.
8. Acts As A Diuretic
A diuretic is a substance that promotes the process of diuresis, which deals with the production of urine in the body. Sassafras tea acts as such a diuretic and is useful to treat problems such as a urinary tract infection. By increasing the frequency of urination, toxins can be expunged from the body at a heightened rate, thereby promoting quicker healing. This also helps to control high blood pressure levels.
9. Benefits The Liver
Sassafras tea helps to balance the hormone levels in our body. In pursuance of this, it cleanses our liver by purging it of various substances. Proper liver function helps deal with hangovers. So drink some sassafras tea after a night out with one too many drinks.
10. Helps Manage Diabetes
Recent studies at a university in India has suggested that the compound safrole, besides its uses as an anticancer substance, might also be an effective adjuvant therapy for managing diabetes. Safrole improves the level of blood sugar and also improves sensitivity to insulin, which are two major hurdles in combating diabetes.
11. Acts As A Blood Thinner
Other than its uses as an anti-toxin and an anti-inflammatory agent, sassafras also has anticoagulant properties. Taken in tea form, it acts as a blood thinner, which if done within the right limits, is beneficial for health. As a result of such thinning, our body is more able to flush out excess toxins in it as the sassafras acts as a diuretic as well. By promoting such a metabolic process, sassafras helps in keeping your body healthy in the long term.
12. Improves Digestion
Drinking sassafras tea, in moderation, helps ease gastrointestinal issues. This is done by hydrating your stomach while at the same time protecting it from certain harmful agents. By improving digestion in this manner, the process of digestion is streamlined, helping avoid common issues such as constipation and diarrhea. Sassafras also stimulates the liver to release certain toxins, thereby detoxifying the body by flushing toxins out of the body with its diuretic properties.
13. Eases Menstrual Difficulties
Often, women suffer from several symptoms of menstruation. These painful symptoms include heavy bleeding, bloating as well as cramping. Sassafras helps balance hormone levels in our body by stimulating the liver. This helps avoid issues such as cramps during menstruation. Traditionally, this is a natural remedy that has been in practice for several centuries to lessen discomforts that are associated with menstruation and still remains a popular herbal remedy.
14. Treats Parasitic Diseases
There exist certain parasitic diseases found commonly in subtropical climates such as southern Europe. A prime example of this would be leishmaniasis. When an extract taken from the bark of the sassafras tree is used for treatment, it can kill such parasites without adversely affecting the nearby cells in our body.
15. Recovers Potency In Men
The bark of the Sassafras enhances the healing properties of certain drinks intended for the male body. By stimulating the liver and balancing hormone levels, sassafras helps to recover potency and vitality in men who suffer from such issues.
16. Treats Respiratory Illnesses
The aromatic, numbing flavor of the sassafras oil, found in the plant’s root, has a therapeutic effect which serves to alleviate symptoms of respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis. This oil is useful for treating symptoms such as fever, cough and clearing stuffed nasal passages.
17. Acts As A Natural AcHel Inhibitor
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AcHel inhibitors in short) have several practical uses in modern life. Two compounds in sassafras act as a natural inhibitor and can be used in certain cases to treat Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. AcHel inhibitors are also used, at times, to treat poisoning and glaucoma.
Word Of Caution
The volatile sassafras oil is extremely powerful. Little quantities, such as a teaspoon, could cause severe adverse reactions such as nausea and vomiting. Larger amounts could lead to death. As such, ensure you consult your doctor before using sassafras oil. Also, restrict your consumption of sassafras tea to 2-3 cups a day.
SAVE TO PINTEREST